China's southwestern municipality Chongqing has been awarded a signboard naming it, in gold letters, the "Hot Pot Capital of China," at the opening ceremony of the 3rd Hotpot Festival.
The China Cuisine Association announced the results on Monday at a press conference for the festival in Chongqing.
Xiao Jianhua, from the Chongqing Commerce Commission, said it was not easy for the municipality to earn the honorable title of capital for hotpot, since Chongqing and the capital of Sichuan province, Chengdu, have competed for the title for over 10 years.
Xiao Jianhua said eight experts from the China Cuisine Association visited Chongqing early this year and made a report on giving the title to Chongqing.
Chairman of the China Cuisine Association, Su Qiucheng, said only Chongqing has the scale and number of hotpot enterprises to qualify it for the title.
The history of Chongqing hotpot dates back to the Daoguang (Emperor) period of the Qing dynasty, around 180 years ago.
At the end of last year, over 50,100 hot pot restaurants were occupying over 62 percent of food service outlets and employing 430,000 workers, over 60 percent of all food service workers, in the city. The cuisine's annual profits reach 7.8 billion yuan, about 40 percent of the total income of the entire food industry.
Chongqing hotpot even occupies 70 percent of the market in Chengdu.
(CRIENGLISH.com March 21, 2007)